95% of high school students who completed the QUESTion Class recorded a positive Empowerment Shift
Students who participate in The QUESTion Project gain confidence in their ability to navigate a path forward through their choices, while becoming more comfortable with an uncertain future. As they engage with their most important questions with peers, their feelings of isolation start to dissipate. They connect with a sense of direction based on their own understanding of the meaning of life and the purpose they hope to fulfill. Most striking to us has been seeing their fears and concerns for the future replaced by a sense of joy, positivity and confidence about the possibilities ahead.
-Brandon, Bronx, NYC, Student
(…) This project is important because it poses as a beacon of light to those who live in fear, doubt, trouble, question… There are a lot of people like myself who question the world. The common questions I hear and see are: “Why am I here,” “What am I going to do with my life,” “I give up.” Being from the Bronx, I never fully realized the negativity that creaks here day and night until I became independent, when I started going out into “The World”. All I see here is poverty, self doubt, and such negativity. I started understanding what others felt because I felt what they were feeling, fear. Clueless and sad almost every day because I wasn’t satisfied with where I was living and who I was. Because of the introduction of the QUESTion Project here at BCSM, my perspective on life has changed into a more positive direction and has extended my character into somebody better. This project will be important to many others who were like me at one point, who are struggling to find out who they are as an individual and are struggling to find a sense of purpose in life.
See What Students Have To Say…
By asking these big questions together, you create yourself and you find yourself. And after you do that, you find your place in the world.
The QUESTion Project is important because it helps teens discover who they are, and helps them become the person they want to be.
By engaging in big questions about who we are and what find meaningful, we create a foundation for individual and social change.
Not only did I learn about the different ways one can look at their future, but I also learnt more about myself and got a better understanding of what I might want to do.
I have always wanted to be a doctor, and in the beginning of the class I was doubting if I could. By the end of the class… I grew out of that fear. Fear is not going to stop me – I am determined to succeed!
I did not feel judged when discussing my thought processes on the way I lead my life or what I thought the purpose of life might be, because I knew that everyone I was with was searching for answers, just like me.
What I gained is the idea of being able to question everything without have fear of getting an answer one doesn’t like…it helps one have an open mind.
It helps people speak about important things they might otherwise have to deal with on their own.
The QUESTion Project is important because it helps you find out who you are and what you are meant to do with your life.
See What Principals and Educators Have To Say…
What I noticed is a motivation and an inspiration that our kids model now for their peers where you know they feel that they can become a positive influence on others. Now that is a huge shift from some of the teenagers that we’re used to dealing with, they come in and it is about receiving, it’s about what you can give me. I feel the kids that went through the QUESTion Project have shifted their paradigm of thinking, and they begin asking themselves what I can give others…So that’s the huge psychological shift that I noticed in the way that our students have changed since their participation in the Question Project.
Here in the Bronx we’re faced with violence. On the streets, every problem is dealt with through violence. With the QUESTion Class we are creating a counter culture where we can look at things more deeply and not just as they appear on the surface.
We have kids who have dealt with problems through violence in the past, but they are now sitting through this class and they are listening to other points of view. They are seeing the same experience from different points of view. There’s a realization that they can understand each other and come together.
The QUESTion Project is one of the most compelling examples of self-reflective education that I have ever encountered. I have used components of the project in five university level courses, and each time it has been an invaluable aspect of the student’s experience. The framework is holistic, and the OFI culture surrounding the work is positive and infectious. I believe the QUESTion Project, in one incarnation or another, should be part of every school and university program in the country. If kids had more access to this kind of learning from day one, we would not need to solve many of the world’s problems from sources external to those we wish to serve – the change will have already come from within.
One of my guidance counselors went and saw the QUESTion Project and said, “We have to do this!” Teaching ‘life-skills’ is a finite task, teaching acquisition of those skills through discovery is infinite. Modern family life has reduced/eliminated time and space for this level of discovery. Students and staff are looking within themselves from a very distracting outer world and are finding the courage of self-discovery.
Someone from my school went to the QUESTion Class in another school and came back really excited. It is imperative that students and school community engage with the larger questions in life, giving oneself the freedom to ponder deeply without rigidity and giving oneself time to do so. It gives participants a grounding and focus on what it means to be individually and collectively successful. We need to couple our wisdom and experience with that of young people to create a better world and confront what exists that is not good. There is a real urgency to this.
It’s something that they have never really had before. Even though they may have had the opportunity to think privately about these different questions, now they have an opportunity to talk to other students the same age who are going through a lot of similar situations. This gives them an opportunity to understand that these are not just questions that they have — but that they share this common journey in trying to figure out what they want to do and who they want to become.
The QUESTion Project is an amazing program that allows students the opportunity to free their minds from academics and focus on questions of life, which they may or may not have ever thought about. QP makes it possible for students to share and learn from their peers. QP has the ability to be life-changing for students who dig deep and realize that all questions are okay to ask and explore!!
I like very much that the QUESTion Project addresses human themes without focusing too heavily on the psychological. By addressing questions that have universal relevance, you empower students and expand their perspectives.
What could be more important for young people on the cusp of adulthood than to think deeply about the meaning they wish to give their own lives? Yet, amidst the press for curricular coverage and the pursuit of test scores, schools offer very few opportunities for them to do so. It is thrilling to see a program like the QUESTion Project that encourages students to think big, and think together, in the best possible way—a project that invites students to think deeply about the selves they want to become, and about the deep purposes with which they hope to frame their future.
The QUESTion Project is a thoughtful and effective method to get students to engage in topics that do not come across core content curricula. Students need a space to explore their purpose in life and passions that drive them. I would highly recommend this program to any school!